Bill_Toge - Cosmetic Science Talk


Hello there! I'm a UK-based cosmetic chemist with ten years of experience at the bench, having dealt with pretty much every kind of product apart from colour cosmetics and aerosols, and I run the lab of a contract manufacturer based in the north of England.  I'm also responsible for scaling up products from the lab to the plant, and ensuring any formula developed in-house complies with the relevant legislation. I have a ruthless and outspoken attitude towards superstition quoted as facts that jar with orthodox science (e.g. using the method for a palm oil soap to manufacture a stearic acid soap, or the idea that O/W and W/O emulsions will somehow invert once a given percentage of the dispersed phase has been exceeded.) 


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  • tags
    I have a question about adding alcohol to a toothpaste formula. Are there any drawbacks or side effects I should be concerned with? Will it prohibit the paste from forming?
    September 2016
    • Bill_Toge
      alcohol would stop the toothpaste foaming, and would make it a lot more prone to drying out; also, depending on which thickener you use, it may cause syneresis and viscosity loss

      in all honesty, I can't think of a good reason to include it
  • eggcoddler
    Hi Bill_Toge,

    Thank you for explaining.

    I've checked though what you mentioned about 'self emulsifying'...and then realised that I posted a wrong emulsifier - apologies.

    Glyceryl stearate [HLB2.9] not GMS S/E.
    and it states that this is to be used along with SSL (and Cetearyl Alchol). 
    I have been using this along SSL + Cetearyl Alchol for lotion / creams of total required HLB around 7.2 - 7.9, which have been successful.

    But the calculation still brings to the 'negative' amount / result.
    ( -3.06 for Glyceryl Sterate and 9.06 for SSL).

    Having checked info from the suppliers website, and based on their 'recommended dosage', I just came up with guessed amount: 

    2% Glyceryl Stearate (Oil Phase)
    4% SSL (Water phase)

    Would the emulsification could work? 

    Or is it one of those trial and error that I need to keep experimenting..?


    February 2016
  • celine13009
    I have to make a crystal clear water soluble pomade. I have difficulties to get a strong hold and a crystal clear formula ! 
    I understand that I just have to add water with C-25 but it is not enough hold. I would like to improve that, so I want to add PVP but my formula became opaque and I have the impression that when I work it in my fingers it emulsifies (become white) ... 
    I don't have refractometer to get transparancy with plasticizers...

    Have you got some ideas ?? 

    My simple formula is : 

    Phase A (85°C)
    PVP K 30 powder

    Phase B (85°C)
    Ceteareth 25 (solids)

    Phase A into phase B 

    If I want to package my formula, I can add maximum 23% of C-25. 

    I am waiting for your answer. Thank you !! 
    January 2016
  • m_makeup
    I am formulating a liquid to matte lipstick. The formula is fine however I am using oxides and magnese violet for color. When I am finished the product it is very dark. When I put it on my lips it is dark but dries light...(the orginal color of the oxide) WHy is this?? Please help me thanks so much.  
    July 2015
  • SublimeEyes
    Hello Bill,

    I'm based in California,  I have made contact with several cosmetic manufacturers here but it seems that everyone that i've contacted only specialized in creams, shampoos and makeup.  I'm just looking to find someone that can help me with formulating and production of the product as i don't know much about creating cosmetic products.

    At this moment I'm looking to produce between 7 to 15 thousand units a year as I do not want to spend too much on the introduction phase of the product, but i am hoping that it can become popular enough to be profitable.duction phase of the product, but i am hoping that it can become popular enough to be profitable.

    thank you for your time and hope that you can help me with this.

    January 2015
  • Djen
    Hey Bill, I've just read about your skills, I was wondering what your thoughts were on melitane. I have already posted a topic on it: After using it for more than a month ( the DMI formula) I notice no results yet. I have also done some research on forskolin which has been proven to increase melanin in hair-skin. I contacted the researcher, they said they have been testing on human beings although they havent released a formula yet. I was wondering if the affordable 20 percent version of forskolin could already be effective and which penetrating emulsions you'd need to develop a hair lotion. Many thanks in advance
    July 2014

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